white crowned sparrows and bears

Joanne H Powell jopowell2 at juno.com
Sun Sep 22 08:50:51 PDT 2002

Good morning, all:

The white-crowned sparrows showed up last week. I have about 10-12, which
is below my usual count for this time of year. I usually have about 20-30
with an equal number of juvies and adults. This year I have about 3
juveniles for every adult. My total number of all birds has really
dropped since I first saw the Sharpie I mentioned awhile ago. I'm
assuming the Sharpie is hanging around and the birds are concentrating
their food hunting up in the hillside brush.

I also posted some time back that the finch eye problem seemed to have
been cleared up and lots and lots of finches were being fledged. In the
last couple of days I've seen not only a large percentage of finches with
their eyes infected, but at least 3, so far, goldfinches with the same
problem. There was an infected goldfinch feeding 3 fledglings so, as long
as she still has one eye working, she is able to function but who knows
for how long. This is really a bummer. I had hoped the virus had died
down for the winter. While it has been very warm here in the daytime (up
until Monday) it has been quite cold at night...around freezing or lower.
This morning it was 24o.

The drought seems to have driven a bear down into my area. I have lived
here for 7 years and never seen a bear, or bear traces. Last night
(actually VERY early this morning) my dog went beserk. Luckily I have a
fenced dog yard even though I live so far out in the "wilds" that there
are no streets or houses in this valley. I called him inside and locked
the dog door, thinking he would calm down if he were inside. I tried to
go back to sleep since it was about 2 in the morning...HAH! I heard his
nails scrabbling on the kitchen floor and he was barking hysterically. I
went to the kitchen window and, about 1 foot from me, was a bear,
standing on its back legs and peering in the window (a very strong,
solid, one piece, double-paned window!). It took off when I turned on the
light but this morning I found it had trashed the feeders and my trash
can - the clasps of which were strong enough to prevent the raccoons from
getting in but not a bear!

Well, that's it from the wilds of Reardan!

Regards, Joanne
Reardan (Spokane) WA
mailto: jopowell2 at juno.com

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